Driving down Park Lane at night, you may have been distracted by a sleek, art deco building with a beautifully lit, revamped façade comprising several bold metallic fins. This is 45 Park Lane, the Dorchester Collection’s ninth and newest hotel, which opened on 1 September.
With just 45 rooms and suites (not to mention a 1,830-square-foot Penthouse Suite, replete with wraparound terrace), each guest bedroom has a view overlooking Hyde Park, and indeed those on higher floors have panoramic views across London. Luxurious and contemporary interiors by New York based designer Thierry Despont provide the hotel with an exclusive-club feel. Rooms are sumptuously decorated, and decked out with the latest electrical equipment – colossal Bang & Olufsen televisions, Blu-Ray players, mirror televisions in the bathroom and electrical blinds and lighting – all controlled by touch-screen panels. While this state-of-the-art technology wasn’t entirely functional, any creases will surely have been ironed out by the time you read this. In terms of comfort and décor, the rooms at 45 Park Lane really can’t be topped.
As if to underline this, each floor has its own ‘dedicated host’ (read: butler), who answers calls within seconds and is on-hand to take care of your every need, be it a dinner reservation, room service, a request for the concierge, etc. Art features strongly throughout the hotel with original works by ten leading, living British artists distributed to every guestroom. Sir Peter Blake inhabits the Penthouse Suite, and 16 of Damien Hirst’s limited edition ‘Psalms’ series are displayed together, for the first time, in the ground-floor restaurant.
Which brings me to my favourite part of 45 Park Lane (and there’s a lot to love): CUT, Wolfgang Puck’s first venture in Europe. Mirroring the award-winning and hugely popular original CUT in Beverly Hills, this outpost offers outstanding steaks, a superb wine list and impeccable service, in a buzzing environment.
The menu features the widest and best selection of beef available in London. Whether grain-fed meat from Dorset or Wagyu beef from Australia, Chile and New Zealand, all are available in a variety of signature cuts, including filet, sirloin, ribeye, rib-chop and Porterhouse, among many others. Alternative highlights include Kobe-style ‘Indian spiced’ short beef ribs slowly cooked for eight hours, pan-roasted Scottish lobster with black truffle sabayon, and that most eye-popping of starters, bone marrow flan with mushroom marmalade and parsley salad, complemented of course with big-eye tuna tartare, wasabi aioli, ginger, Togarashi crisps and Tosa soy.
At dinner, it emerged that our excellent waiter had been picked up at Shoreditch House, trained up at The Dorchester, and had now found ‘his home’ at 45 Park Lane. It is a fitting way to view the premises: the refreshingly modern and multifaceted hotel that Mayfair has longed for, be it for a stay, dinner or drink at the bar.